Q: How will I find out about the process to apply to transfer from the Air Force to the Space Force?
A: The Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) will notify all officers and enlisted personnel who are eligible to apply for transfer May 1, 2020 announcing that the application window is open and directing them to an online process to submit their application.
Q: What information is required for me to volunteer? Do you need my EPRs/OPRs or any other records?
A: The details of the transfer process for both the Organic and Common AFSCs will be published once complete. Additionally, the email notification from AFPC announcing the window to apply will provide you a list of all that is required to volunteer to transfer into the Space Force. That said, it is highly recommended all members interested in transferring conduct a thorough records review to ensure all items are accurate and accounted for.
Q: Is there a specific location/website where members can ensure their contact/email information is accurate prior to AFPC sending notifications on May 1? Specifically, our unit’s members have NRO email addresses which are not always included in AF-wide email messages.
A: They should make sure their emails are updated in vMPF. If they haven’t received the email by May 5, they can reach out to the TFSC, who will direct them to the correct POC.
Q: The video mentioned that the AFPC email will direct applicants to a “web-based system” to submit their application. Do you know the application/system that is planning to be used (myVector, myPERS, vMPF, AMS, Air Force Portal, etc)? Knowing the system in advance would allow members to ensure they have the ability to log into the system. Since many members are telecommuting and may not have a .mil computer or CAC reader, I would like to ensure they are able to access the system during the Pandemic.
A: The application process takes place through myPers.
Q: Who gets the final say in who transfers? All guidance that I’ve found just states “Senior Leaders” will decide, can we get a more specific answer (which AF Senior Leaders will be a part of the decision)?
A: Members in common AFSCs applying for transfer to USSF will meet a transfer board. The board will consist of senior leaders from both the USAF and USSF, to include a senior member from The common AFSC. The board will review applicant records and provide a score to each record. That score will help senior leaders determine those service Members selected to transfer. The purpose of the board is to ensure quality of applicants and optimal distribution of talent between The Air Force and Space Force.
Q: In cases where volunteers exceed the requirement, it sounds like the board will decide. Will the CFTs/DTs get any input? A: The board will consist of senior leaders from both the USAF and USSF, to include a senior member from the Common AFSC. The board will review applicant records and provide a score to each record. That score will help senior leaders determine those service members selected to transfer. The board will ensure we transfer enough personnel to fulfill Space Force requirements while being careful not to disrupt Air Force mission readiness. Nevertheless, those who are actually join the Space Force will gain the depth of knowledge and experience required to support operations in the Space domain.
Q: If I have an established voluntary date of separation, can I pull it so that I can apply to join the Space Force?
A: Yes. If you apply for transfer you will be given the opportunity to request that your voluntary date of separation be removed contingent upon your entry into the Space Force. This does not apply to involuntary dates of separation. The process to achieve this will be determined on a case by case basis, as determined by the circumstances of the individual situation.
Q: Can I join the Space Force if I’m pending a Medical Evaluation Board?
A: You can apply to transfer to the Space Force while pending an MEB; however, if selected to transfer, you will not be able to transfer until the MEB returns you to active duty.
Q: When does the process of transferring into the Space Force begin?
A: All officers and enlisted personnel in the Organic Space career fields and Common career fields will receive a direct email from AFPC starting on May 1, 2020 announcing that the application window is open and directing them to an online process to submit their application.
Q: When will I be allowed to transfer?
A: Transfer will begin after applications to transfer are received and processed by AFPC. For those in the Organic Space career fields (13S and 1C6), we anticipate transfer beginning Sept. 1, 2020. For personnel in the Common career fields, the process differs slightly in that there is a boarded process to determine who will transfer, which adds more time to the overall process. We anticipate the actual transfer to begin Feb. 1, 2021.
Q: Will I only have one opportunity to transfer?
A: Space Force will evaluate the need for more transfer opportunities after the initial transfer process is complete.
Q: What if I apply for transfer and change my mind and decide to stay in the Air Force?
A: If you are approved for transfer, you may elect to change your mind. The Air Force is still reviewing the timeframe for declination and will provide this information prior to notification of transfer to the Space Force.
Q: What are the possible duty stations for 3DO's in the Space Force?
A: The Space Force will have 6 main operating bases in the CONUS for Cyber personnel including Peterson AFB, Colo., Buckley AFB, Colo., Schriever AFB, Colo., Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Los Angeles AFB, Calif., and Patrick AFB, Fla. Additionally, there are opportunities at other smaller GSUs available around the world. Please visit the Cyber Professionals Milsuite site for more information on assignment locations as well as other information on Cyber in the USSF. Specifically see document titled “US Space Force Locations (Cyber)”. https://www.milsuite.mil/book/groups/space-force-cyber-professionals
Q: What’s the difference between being ‘assigned’ to the Space Force versus being ‘transferred’? Is there really a difference?
A: Yes, there is a difference. An “assigned” individual is a person who is in the Air Force or other Service and performs work in support of the U.S. Space Force. A “transferred” individual is an enlisted member who has executed an enlistment contract for the Space Force or an officer who has been appointed and scrolled into the Space Force.
Q: What if I’m deployed when the call goes out to transfer to Space Force?
A: We will work with commanders and leadership to ensure deployed members are contacted and have enough time to make decisions about volunteering for the Space Force.
Q: Do you expect all 13S/1C6 applicants to be able to “swear-in” to the Space Force on September 1 or is it planned that this process will take multiple months as alluded to in the video?
A: Transfer dates will be determined on an individual basis based on professional milestones and some personal situations. For example, if a member is awaiting the results of a promotion board that won’t be released until November, that member’s transfer date will not be until after the results are approved and released. This way, if the member is selected for promotion, their line number goes with them to the Space Force. However, we do expect the majority of 13S and 1C6 personnel to be able to transfer on or about Sept. 1, 2020. Details on ceremonies will be forthcoming from USSF/S1.
ELIGIBLE CAREER FIELDS
Q: What Air Force career fields can apply to transfer to the Space Force?
A: Department of the Air Force members fall into three broad groups, based on their Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC): Organic to the U.S. Space Force (Organic Space); organic to the U.S. Air Force; common to both the Air Force and Space Force.
Organic to the Space Force are those personnel in either space operations (13S) or space systems operations (1C6) career fields and are referred to as “Organic Space”. Positions requiring this expertise will be filled by the Space Force, and personnel with this expertise will be organized, trained and equipped by the Space Force.
Common AFSCs to both the Air Force and Space Force are cyber, acquisitions, engineers, and certain shred-outs of intelligence. There will be positions and people with these sets of expertise in both the Space Force and Air Force. The Space Force and Air Force will build capability to organize, train and equip individuals with this expertise.
Organic to the Air Force are the remaining specialties. The Air Force will retain responsibility to organize, train and equip these Airmen and provide specific expertise and capability to the Space Force.
Q: What if I’m a Space Operator and I choose not to transfer?
A: If you are in an Organic Space Career Field (13S and 1C6) and choose not to transfer, you may apply to retrain into a different specialty, apply to transfer into the Reserves or Guard in a Space Operations capacity, or apply to separate or retire, if eligible. Keep in mind that the 13S and 1C6 Air Force Specialty Codes will be removed from the active duty Air Force inventory after a two year period.
Q: Why must someone in a Common AFSC meet a board before being allowed to transfer?
A: If there are more people that volunteer to transfer in the Common AFSCs than there are requirements, a board process will be used to ensure both the Air Force and the Space Force have the number of personnel to meet mission needs and career sustainment.
Q: Why am I considered a Common AFSC? Does that mean I will be shared by both services and PCS between Space Force Bases and Air Force Bases?
A: Career fields that are in direct support of both the Air and Space domains are termed “common” as follows: Intelligence, Cyber, Engineers, and Acquisition. These are in contrast to “Organic Space” career fields (13S and 1C6) which are inherent to space operations only. Both the Air Force and Space Force will maintain their own common career fields. However, the expectation is that there will be a collaborative assignment process that allows maximum flexibility to support either Service’s needs. Nevertheless, those who actually join the Space Force will gain the depth of knowledge and experience required to support operations in the Space domain.
Q: Who will be on this Common AFSC board that determines who joins Space Force and what criteria are they using to select people?
A: The board will be comprised of senior leaders who represent the Space Force and the Air Force from the career fields of the eligible pool of volunteers as much as possible, and will evaluate the volunteers’ records on the criteria provided by the Secretary of the Air Force. Criteria will include education/experience and qualifications/certifications, performance, grade, time in service, and current career field manning.
Q: Do I have to be in the Space Force?
A: No, you do not. Airmen in Organic Space career fields (13S, 1C6) will have the choice to transfer to the Space Force, apply to retrain into a different specialty, apply to transfer into the Reserves or Guard in a Space Operations capacity, or apply to separate or retire, if eligible. Airmen in common career fields (such as Intelligence, Cyber, Engineering, and Acquisitions) will be able to volunteer to transfer to Space Force, and a board will evaluate all the volunteers and select those who will transfer. Those who don’t volunteer or those who are not selected for transfer will continue their careers in the Air Force.
Q: Will service members assigned to Space Force have the ability to opt out if they prefer to stay in the Air Force?
A: In the near term, service members who prefer to stay in the U.S. Air Force, even those in Organic Space specialties, will be retained. Over time, members whose specialty is organic to the U.S. Space Force (13S, 1C6) either need to transfer to the Space Force, apply to retrain into a different specialty, apply to transfer into the Reserves or Guard in a Space Operations capacity, or apply to separate or retire, if eligible. Individuals who are in Common AFSCs will be able to stay in the Air Force, but they may be assigned to support Space Force missions and organizations.
GUARD & RESERVE
Q: Will there be a Space Guard and Space Reserve?
A: Only Congress can establish a Space Guard and Space Reserve as new reserve components of the armed forces. Until such establishment, existing Guard and Reserve remain critical to the space mission performed by the U.S. military today. Air Guard and Reserve units will be aligned to the U.S. Space Force as directed by the Secretary of the Air Force.
Q: After reviewing the US Space Force Roadshow video on milSuite I had one question: Can an Air Force Reservist sign up to transfer to the US Space Force in an Active Duty (full-time) capacity? As a Reservist I hold dual cyber and intelligence specialty codes (17S and 14N, respectively). I have even worked with NASA on an unmanned aerial system project on their side of our shared installation.
A: The current transfer process applies to Regular Air Force personnel only. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel remain critical to space mission execution. Air Guard and Air Force Reserve units executing space missions are currently aligned to the Space Force, and will continue supporting Space Force missions in this status while the future of the Reserve Component for the Space Force is determined.
Q: Will Guardsmen/Reservist with qualifying AFSC’s be able to transfer in? If so, will active duty personnel be favored? A: The transfer process only applies to Regular Airmen Serving on Active Duty in the grades of Lieutenant Colonel and below in specific specialties, and is not applicable to the Air National Guard or the Air Force Reserve.
Q: Can people from other services (Army/Navy) volunteer for the Space Force in the May 2020 window? Does that change the 2022 transfer timeline for the Army/Navy people, or is it a situation where they would volunteer now but not come in for two years? How exactly does an Army/Navy person volunteer?
A: The May 1-31 window is for U.S. Air Force members in organic space career fields and common career fields to apply for transfer to the U.S. Space Force. The timeframe for Army/Navy space requirements to move to the Space Force remains in FY22/23. Although legal provisions exist for other services to transfer to the Space Force, the current focus is on transferring the over 6,000 Airmen from the Air Force to the Space Force by mid FY21. We understand there is excitement for Space Force across all services right now. Space Force will release further details for a limited inter-service transfer program for other sister services for FY21.
Q: Will the Army and Navy eventually be a part of the Space Force?
A: The DoD vision is to eventually consolidate space missions from across the existing Armed Forces into the Space Force in the future, as appropriate and consistent with law. Until such time as Congress approves this, individuals from other Services may request an inter-service transfer on a voluntary basis following existing procedures for transfers from one Service to another. For more information, visit: https://www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/IST/
Q: What is the impact to Air Force civilians?
A: Air Force civilians in units that are part of the Space Force remain Department of the Air Force employees. All provisions of law and polices affecting civilians will remain the same. There is no change to pay, benefits, or retirement.
Q: Is there any guidance yet for civilians interested in joining the USSF?
A: Department of the Air Force civilians will continue to be assigned to support Space Force missions. Please see USAJOBS for contracting opportunities.
PROMOTION & RANKS
Q: Will service members transferring into the Space Force retain their existing rank/grade?
A: Yes – all members transferring into the U.S. Space Force retain their existing grade.
Q: What grades will the Space Force have?
A: At this time, the Space Force has the same grade structure as the other military services (i.e., E-1 to E-9, O-1 to O-10). The Space Force is currently determining what those ranks will be called.
Q: How will promotion opportunities and advancement be impacted for those who move to the Space Force?
A: Personnel are transferred in the same status (grade, duty, and pay status) they had prior to transfer. There will be no penalty for transferring to the Space Force, and it will not affect time-in-grade or retirement eligibility. Initially all current Air Force policies will remain in effect until the Space Force determines and makes adjustments.
Q: If I have a line number will that follow me?
A: Transferring personnel will carry their line #s into the Space Force. Each individual approved for transfer will have their professional milestone and other factors considered before a transfer date is established. These factors can include developmental education, current or projected assignment, promotion status, personal family situations (e.g., EFMP), and others.
Q: What will promotions look like in the Space Force as far as promotion rates and chance of making top grades such as E-8 and E-9?
A: The Space Force will continue to use the same process to determine promotion rates (promote to requirement) each cycle as the AF does. We do not have enough information today to know what promotion rates will look like; however, we are committed to finding promotion and developmental opportunities for our Space Force professionals.
PAY & BENEFITS
Q: How will joining the Space Force affect my pay?
A: There will be no change to base pay and allowances or benefits, including your retirement plan and Thrift Savings Plan benefits.
Q: I received a selective retention bonus (SRB) from the Air Force. If I transfer and re-enlist in the Space Force will the obligated service incurred for receipt of the selective retention bonus be curtailed so that I can enter a new period of service for another SRB?
A: No. When you received the SRB, you accrued an active duty service commitment, which you must fulfill. If you re-enlist in the Space Force with remaining time on the Active Duty Service Commitment, the ADSC will follow you into the Space Force. It is important to note that the SRB program will continue in the Space Force, but the details will not be determined until after transfers are complete.
Q: Will SRBs be offered to those who volunteer to enlist in the Space Force and meet the current Air Force criteria for SRBs?
A: The Space Force is currently making a determination and will provide guidance when a decision is made.
Q: What is the term of enlistment for enlisted Airmen not on an “indefinite reenlistment” who transfer to the Space Force?
A: As mandated by existing law, enlisted Airmen transferring to the Space Force will enlist for a term of no less than two years and not more than eight years. The period must cover the length of time for any existing ADSC.
Q: How are Selective Retention Bonuses (SRB) managed if I transfer to the Space Force?
A: The SRB program will continue in the Space Force but will be adjusted to as needed to encourage reenlistment of sufficient numbers of qualified enlisted personnel in military skills with either demonstrated shortfalls or high training costs.
Q: What effect does “indefinite reenlistment” have on my ability to transfer to the Space Force?
A: When you enlist in the Space Force, by law you are required to enlist for a minimum two years and up to eight years. This is true even if you are currently on an indefinite reenlistment in the Air Force. For members with over 12 years of service, you will execute an indefinite reenlistment where your date of separation will be set to your date of high year of tenure, and you will incur a two-year ADSC to meet the two-year enlistment requirement established by law.
Q: Will there still be deployment opportunities either exclusively through Space Force or through the Air Force for Space Force personnel?
A: The topic of Space Force deployments is being reviewed by Space Force and Air Force planning teams; however, we anticipate there will be deployment opportunities both specific to USSF and through USAF.
Q: What will deployments look like in the Space Force for 3DO personnel?
A: Due to the nature of space systems we expect the majority of 3D personnel in Space Force will be deployed in place. Outside of that some Space Force units do have deployable mission sets that folks assigned to those units could expect to support. We expect the traditional AEF deployment taskings that 3Ds in the USAF fill today will no longer be filled by USSF personnel.
Q: My Active Duty Service Commitment is complete in July (I PCS'd here from OCONUS). I am seriously considering retiring in September of 2021. While I’m very excited about the Space Force, the ADSC is a deterrent as I would be locked into my current position two additional years or PCS in 2021 and incur an ADSC to 2023.
A: The 2-year service commitment upon Inter-Service Transfer is required by law for enlisted personnel. To ensure equity among personnel and a continuity of experience within the new Service, Space Force leadership directed officers who transfer should also incur a 2-year service commitment. Keep in mind, the service commitment you incur is served concurrently with any service commitment you currently have, and transferring to Space Force does not automatically result in a PCS.
Q: If I have an assignment or am selected to deploy, what impact does that have on my ability to apply to join the Space Force?
A: Selection for assignment or deployment does not preclude your ability to apply to transfer into the Space Force. We will work with commanders and leadership to ensure deployed members are contacted and have enough time to make decisions about volunteering for the Space Force.
Q: I’m in a Developmental Special Duty position. Can I still apply to transfer and, if I do, will it curtail my current job?
A: Being assigned to a DSD or any other special duty assignment does not preclude your ability to apply to transfer into the Space Force. We will work with commanders and leadership to ensure members serving in special duty positions are contacted and have enough time to make decisions about volunteering for the Space Force.